Influence of gamma radiation in chestnut (Castanea sativa Mill.) vitamin E content Conference Paper uri icon


  • Chestnut has to be postharvest treated to increase its shelf-life and to meet the fitosanitary regulations during exportation. The most common preservation method for chestnuts was the chemical fumigation with methyl bromide, a toxic agent that is under strictly use according to Montreal Protocol due to the adverse effects on human health and environment. Furthermore, its use has been prohibited by the European Union since March 2010 [1]. Food irradiation is a possible feasible alternative to substitute the traditional quarantine chemical fumigation treatment. The present study evaluates the influence of gamma irradiation in vitamin E content of chestnut. Vitamin E is a term frequently used to designate a family of related compounds, namely tocopherols and tocotrienols, which are important lipophilic antioxidants with essential effects in living systems against aging, strengthening the immune system and reduction of cancer risk, reducing viral load in HIV-infected or in the treatment of Parkinson-syndrome [2-5]. Y-tocopherol and its physiological metabolite, 2,7,8-trimethyl-2-(β-carboxyethyl)-6-hydroxychroman proved to have anti-inflammatory activity, being promising alternatives to drugs used as cyclooxygenase inhibitors, a key enzyme in the inflammatory process. Y–Tocopherol represents 95% of the vitamin E in chestnuts, which could give to this fruit a functional food classification [6].

publication date

  • January 1, 2011